William Penn Lecture

Young Adult Friends (the community of Quakers age 18-35-ish) hold the care of the William Penn Lecture. In May, 2016, the Undoing Racism Group requested that we change the name of our William Penn Lecture Series because William Penn was a slaveholder, and there were Friends of African Descent who felt unwelcome while we used that name. A variety of concerns about the confusing name and stale format of the series had surrounded it for many years. Undoing Racism Group’s request pushed us to act upon those concerns. At our meeting for business on July 28, 2016, at PYM Annual Sessions, the YAF community approved the request to change the name, and an ad-hoc committee is moving forward with a more open format and a modernized charge.

In October, 2016, the YAF Community approved the name, the Seeking Faithfulness Series! Stay tuned for the new charge, webpage, and date for an awesome event in 2017!

The 2016, the William Penn Lecture was given by Mary Crauderueff on the theme “Spirit Works: Exploring Quaker Leadership” on March 19 at 7PM.  The lecture (actually, part talk, part panel interview, part Q&A!) was the evening of Continuing Sessions at Arch Street Meeting House.

The William Penn Lecture is an annual event given for the purpose of

  • The creation of a closer fellowship through association and interchange of experience
  • Strengthening our loyalty to the ideals of the Society of Friends
  • Preparation by such common ideals for more effective work through the Society of Friends for the growth of the Kingdom of God on earth

The original William Penn Lecture Series, which ran through 1966, was initiated and presented by the Young Friends Movement, the community of young adult Friends in the early part of the 1900’s.   In 2011, the Lecture was revived, and taken under the care of the Young Adult Friends community, which is maintaining its original purpose.

Information & videos of the lectures from 2011-16 can be found on the William Penn Lecture webpage.
2016: Mary Crauderueff “Spirit Works: Exploring Quaker Leadership”
2015: Matthew Armstead “Daring to Stand Up”
2014: Christina Repoley “Prophetic Service as Formation and Transformation”
2013: Michael Gagné “Toward a Great Turning: Love, Truth, Soulforce, and the Future of the Religious Society of Friends”
2012: Signe Wilkinson “Putting the CHEER into Walking CHEERFULLY”
2011: George Lakey “Powerful Beyond Measure: The Legacy of Quaker Leadership in the 21st Century”